Leaky Gut Syndrome
What is a Leaky Gut?
Increased intestinal permeability, commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome, occurs when tight junctions between cells of the intestinal lining are altered. This enables potentially harmful substances to pass through the intestinal wall.
Your intestinal lining has 2 basic functions:
1. Enable the absorption of essential nutrients into your bloodstream to support cellular processes.
2. Act as a barrier to keep dangerous toxins from entering your bloodstream.
Causes of Leaky Gut
1. Chronic dysbiosis, or bacterial imbalance
2. Inflammation from toxins, medications, infections, stress, food allergies, and hormonal imbalances
These can all irritate the intestinal lining and damage the protective epithelial mucus layer that leading to increased intestinal permeability. Diseases that are commonly associated with chronic low-grade inflammation and leaky gut include diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, asthma, and autoimmune diseases including gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease.
5 Common Symptoms of Leaky Gut
Sensitivities or allergies can develop to certain foods as a result of the impaired gut barrier. This can cause symptoms such as hives, rashes, acne as well as GI discomfort.
Poor immune function
Your gastrointestinal lining is the first barrier of defense and 70% of your immune system lies within your GI tract. Increased intestinal permeability can lead to poor immune resilience and increased susceptibility to infections.
Chronic Diarrhea, Constipation, Gas or Bloating
Changes in your overall motility, as well as increased gas production and fermentation from an imbalance of microbial flora, can occur when there is increased intestinal permeability.
Inability to concentrate, irritability, as well as anxiety, and depression, may occur with toxins and bacteria crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Nutritional deficiencies are common with elevated intestinal permeability and can present as chronic fatigue from impaired energy metabolism.
At ARA Integrative and Functional Medicine Glenn Mills, Pennsylvania we work to diagnose leaky gut and to see if increased intestinal permeability is causing your underlying symptoms. Through the use of comprehensive stool analysis, breath testing, and food sensitivity and allergy testing we are able to uncover not only the presence of leaky gut but the root cause of why you have it.
How We Treat Leaky Gut
The 5R protocol is a common five-step intervention designed to support gastrointestinal healing. The 5 steps are outlined here https://www.araintegrative.com/services/gut-health
help to minimize factors associated with inflammation and increased intestinal permeability while introducing foods and supplemental nutrients that support gut healing.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms or would like to learn more about our practice please visit us at https://www.araintegrative.com/.
Mainline Philadelphia, Glenn Mills, Chadds Ford, Swarthmore, Newtown Sq., Wilmington, DE, and South Jersey.